Think new or think old?

Posted: May 3, 2011 in General thoughts
Tags: , ,

To create a unique commercial is important. No one want’s to feel like a copycat and be like others. To be first with something also brings the possibility to gain the likes from the public and therefore make anyone trying to do the same look bad – “Seen that, done that. Come with something new!”

But does it always have to be new? I don’t believe so. Of course as I just wrote it might not be the best idea to copy a active commercial or use others messages. In Sweden the phone company “3” did this and borrowed other companies characters in a bad way. This resulted in a comeback from one of the competitors with the comment: “Hi Tre. A tips if you want satisfied customers. copy this” ( I don’t have to say that “3” lost this one. It is important to keep a eye on the competitor, but as shown it isn’t the best idea to copy them in a bad way. But sometimes it is a good idea to copy. I am thinking of old things.

Why not use something someone earlier has used that has gotten forgotten? or take something popular and make something new of it.

An example of something old used again is an old Burger King commercial:
It is a poorly recorded chicken that will do things in front of a web camera on the viewers command. If you type in that it should dance, it will dance. The quality is not very good compared to todays standard, but the idea is fun and it makes the viewer want to stay at the site. This “video” is as can be seen posted on Burger Kings own homepage.

Then came YouTube, and with YouTube came the new version of the chicken.

In August 2010 Tippex created the new chicken. This time in the form of a hunter who did not want to shoot the bear: 

When following this video the viewer comes to a new page – where the same concept as with the chicken comes. Type in anything you want the bear and the hunter to do. Same idea but a new and improved version.
this video has had almost 16.4 million viewers. I don’t know how many viewers the old chicken version had, but I would believe it was not even close to those numbers. Why?  It is not expected. When the viewer see the Burger King address they will instantly get suspicious thinking it is a commercial, but a YouTube link is more innocent and easier to save. The fact that by 2010 social medias where more used and therefore made viral marketing easier also play a vital role of course. This is yet another reason looking backwards is not always a bad idea. Internet and the consumer learns new things on a daily basis, and therefore making it possible to make things that where good before, even better and giving a greater experience for the customer.

How about when the original video/message is not forgotten? Well if it is done right that is not a problem, but rather the consumer will connect the feelings they had for the original video with the new one.
since the introduction at may 2008 the video “the gummy bear song with lyrics” has had 52,2 million viewers, and many remixes and fan videos. The song has also resulted in phone signals and similar.

on the 28th of April 2011 the Swedish company ICA did their copy of this video resulting in a video that has in writing moment had 109 483 viewers.

It also offers the possibility to download the song as a phone signal from their Facebook page.

Is this wrong? Of course not. It gets attention from the viewers and it has gone viral. Many loved the small green gummy bear – why wouldn’t they love this commercial?  It does nothing to harm the original video and it doesn’t send a bad message.
Ica has also earlier this year copied an active commercial. This was done with a smile and again, without any harm to the original video, creating positive thoughts for the commercial. The original company Reisien did even comment positively for ICAs version, claiming they where honored that they had chosen their commercial for the remix.
The original video:
ICA:s new version:

So I don’t think it is always worth coming up with a brand new idea. If it is done in the right way and with the technology on the company’s side, old commercials can yet again come back to live.

The questions to answer is what commercial to copy, how to change it to fit the companies own ideas and when to do it. Before the time of YouTube and Facebook it was hard to make a video viral, today it is much easier. What will happen in the world of tomorrow no one knows, but I am sure we will see more copies and more remakes of the old classics.


  1. Mat says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I believe that you have to make it with a sense of humour though. Not just steal something but maybe make it better.

    I think you can learn from the sampling within the music industry. Many of the new songs that are popular are taken from old songs more or less 🙂

  2. Perra says:

    That is true – there is a video on the youtube channel about the music. 4 chords to make every popular pop song.

  3. alina says:

    Oh, great, the world needs to know about commercials in Sweden! 🙂

  4. […] products or what they try and create such as the ICA commercial earlier mentioned on this blog ( These songs of course make their way to spotify as well and after that they spread in different […]

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